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Foundation Beginners Guide: Tips and Tricks

The beginning and what you should know. Basically, the game guides you a little, but some information you learn only when you play yourself. So here are some tips in advance or for your next score.

Resource extraction
To be able to mine a resource, it must be highlighted in BLUE. To do this, use the brush in the upper menu bar on the right. Without this mark no resources will be mined. Stones and berries are endless resources and you can place as many buildings around them as you need (or find beautiful).

Build buildings
In the upper menu bar on the right click on the hammer and you will find the buildings that are currently unlocked.

Expand your territory
In the upper menu bar on the right you will find a map symbol which shows you unlockable territories. You can buy more territories for 500 gold. Note: each territory costs you 50 gold taxes, which you pay to the king. The taxes are deducted per week.

Soldier missions can be used to acquire free territories.

Revenue and expenditure
In the upper menu bar on the right you will find your current income and expenses under the coin symbol. At the top you can see the current week and at the bottom the previous week.

Saving, loading, settings
The last icon (far right) allows you to save, load, adjust settings, go to the main menu or leave the game directly. If you go to the main menu or leave the game, you will NOT get the typical question: “Do you really want to leave us?” 😉

Start Building / Start the Game
Your first game will probably not be your last. Why? You’ll have problems with food later and eliminate your mistakes in the next savegame. And you’ll do that again and again until it goes really well. There are also 5 maps to try out. Hill and riverbed are especially beginner friendly.

You start with a village center. Choose your starting area carefully and best with trees, stone and berries. You need the three materials at the beginning. Build a woodcutter’s camp, a stonecutter camp, a well and a gathering hut and wait until they are finished. Hiring workers in these buildings. You can read more about how to hiring them in the guide below. You let your villagers work a bit, then build a sawmill and a warehouse. And the rest will come by itself, by the ascent of the status of your villagers or unlocking new buildings.

Villagers, Needs & Houses

Your villagers have needs that have to be met, otherwise they leave your village because they are unhappy. They can also rise up in status. Here I show you which needs have to be met and how the villagers rise up.

Needs of …
Serfs (status)
Water (well), Housing (house), Food (1 variety), Faith (church)

Civil (status)
Water (well), Housing (house), Food (2 varieties), Faith (church), Clothing (tailor)

Citizen (status)
Water (well), Housing (house), Food (2 varieties), Faith (church), Clothing (tailor), Luxury goods (monastery), Food (2 varieties)

Ascent from … to …
Newcomer to Serfs | wells + food
Serfs to Commoners | + houses + church
Citizens to Citizens | + Food (2nd variety) + Clothes
Citizens to happier Citizens | + luxury goods

Note: When your serfs ascend to commoners, they don’t immediately need a 2nd kind of food. Only from the moment you sell the food do you always have to provide it.

Note: As soon as you sell luxury goods to your villagers, they will consume more food! Greedy, I tell you.

Overview of my villagers
You will find the list of villagers at the bottom left. Here you have an overview of happiness, job, status (and more) of each villager. Here you can see the happiness of an individual and click on the villager to see more. In the villager window you have insight into the current needs, which jobs he already had and the corresponding level and you can follow the villager. You can also see where they live and work.

Which villager has which need?
At first it seems difficult to find out. You have the overall happiness of everyone and who is missing what, but who exactly is real detective work. Unless you find out that you can also move your mouse over the smiley in the villager list and see the happiness of each individual villager.

Where do villagers want to live?
By near markets, wells and churches. To find out where it is particularly beautiful, click on “Desirability Layers” in the lower menu bar and select “Residential area” to display the attractiveness. The attractiveness can be increased by decorations (bushes, trees, fences, etc.).

Residential buildings & their upgrades
Villager houses will be automatically extended later. If you want to prevent the upgrade of their house, because this costs you material, for example, you can deactivate the upgrade via the village information window (top left) as well as prevent the extension for density. The second means that the houses can easily accommodate more villagers (up to 4). The concrete upgrade also includes the appearance of the house itself, which also consumes materials.

In the game you can click on each house to see the expansion level and density. In a house with expansion level 1, up to 4 villagers can live in it with a density of 2.

If you have built decorative elements around houses, check the entrances after building a house. These will change as you upgrade a house, and the entrances may be blocked, preventing the villager from going home.

If the density is switched off, this only affects houses that have already been built. If you want to turn this off for all houses, you have to set the hook again from time to time and then take it out again. This will activate all houses for a short time, but then deactivate all houses (including the construction sites).

Build a house – material costs

Level 1 – 10 wood
Level 2 – 10 boards
Level 3 – 10 boards, 10 stones

What happens when villagers try to refill their needs?
The villager tries to satisfy ALL needs during this time. However, they only fill the needs that are actually on 0 (white bar). Therefore, it is important that all buildings are within a certain radius and the distances are as short as possible. The further apart the buildings are to meet the needs, the longer it will take the villager to fill the needs or become dissatisfied.

Interesting to know: If you create a large living area (green), the villagers do not necessarily go to the market/well around the corner, but also target other markets/well. You can make a green mark for each individual house, or in other words: make the mark so large that only one house fits in.

And how do I get new people?
Somewhere in Nirvana. No, fun. At first it takes a bit until newcomers join your empire. Through the overall happiness you can influence how fast new people come. Use the village information window, because it says when the new villager will come. There will always be 2 new villager, no more, no less. If you receive a message that new villager are joining you, it will take a few minutes until they have made their way (from the edge of the map) to your centre.

Buildings & Monuments 1/2

As a general rule, the closer the buildings are to each other, the faster the production will go (to a certain extent, of course), because the workers in each building get their own materials for processing and creating.

Production of wood & planks
Build the lumber camp in the middle of the forest so that the radius can be used and the 5 woodcutter can work efficiently. Ideally, you should build 1-2 lumber camps with a forester camp, so you will always have enough wood. In the sawmill up to 3 carpenters can work to make planks and should not be as far away from the lumber camp.

[Sawmill with well]
Forester camp
The forester can work in the same area as the woodcutters and needs a marker to work (light green area). He grows new trees (at the moment only lighter firs), which need some time to grow. If you only want to plant one area, you can demolish the building later and give the forester a new job. Only 1 forester can work in a forester camp.

[Lumber camp and forester camp]
Production of stones
The stonecutter camp is best built right next to the stones that are to be mined. Up to 5 stonecutters can work here. So that the stones can be further processed, you build a stonemason hut, which then produces “polished stones”. Note that you can only set 1 stonemason at the stonemason hut.

[2 stonemason huts]
Production of food
Gathering huts can be built around berry bushes. The resource is endless and can not disappear. Up to 3 forager can work in one hut. Berries are the first food you can mine.

Fisher‘s hut: Fish are rather tricky, because you have only one fisherman per fisher’s hut and have to place new huts along the water to ensure a sufficient supply of fish.

Hunter’s hut: 1 hunter is here and produces deer and leather. The deer can be sold on the market. A hunting area (orange) must be marked for the hunter’s hut. By the way, this marking cancels all other marks and only works in forests. The leather cannot be processed at the moment and has to be unloaded from time to time via the warehouse. The hunter only works again when the leather is empty.

Production of clothing
The sheep farm is occupied by 1 shepherd and produces wool. The weaver hut can be occupied by 2 weaver and then produces fabric. The tailor is occupied with 1 tailor and then produces clothes (symbol shirt).

These specifications are only valid if the buildings are close together:

  • 1 weaver hut is enough for 1-2 tailors

By the way, 4-5 sheeps are enough for the shepherd to produce enough wool. Everything else looks nice, but doesn’t make much sense. Also, don’t complain to the developer about too many sheeps when the game crashes.

Production of bread
The wheat farm can be supplied with 3 farmers and produces wheat. For the wheat farm a area “Agriculture” must be marked for the cultivation. The windmill turns it into flour with 2 millers. The bakery makes bread with 2 bakers from flour AND water. Place a well near the bakery to fetch water.

This information is only valid if the buildings are close to each other:

  • 1 wheat farm is enough for 2-3 windmills
  • 1 windmill can supply 1-2 bakeries

Buildings & Monuments 2/2

Production of tools
The coal hut produces coal from wood, so it makes sense to place it close to the lumber camp. You can set up to 3 charcoal burners. An iron mine only makes sense next to an iron ore deposit (marked green on the map, when placing the iron mine). You don’t need to mark the iron ore deposit and can assign up to 5 miners. The iron ore is melted into iron (ingots) by a maximum of 2 iron smelters from coal and iron ore. Last but not least, 2 forges make tools out of iron(ingots) and coal.

You can build food, merchandise and luxury goods stands within a certain radius, if this radius is exhausted, build another market nearby. For each market stall 1 market worker is needed. You can also add decorations to your market stall to give it a bit of splendor for “labor”. At the beginning you should leave out the tents, because you can’t produce fabric yet.

Important: Market workers get the goods they are supposed to sell themselves from the corresponding building or warehouse.

Important: If you’ve sold a product once, the villagers will want it again and again, so if you start with clothes once, you’ll have to make sure there’s always enough. That’s why it’s not advisable to sell wine, because it can’t be produced by yourself at the moment.

Materials can be stored in the warehouse. The transporter (maximum 2) bring the materials from the building to the warehouse. When a material is on “Empty warehouse”, the transporter try to move it to another warehouse. You should place warehouses in a way that makes sense for the carriers and for those who need resources (short ways). If you have released a material for purchase via trade, a slot for this material must be occupied in a warehouse and the green tick for “Accept” must be activated so that the trader can buy the material or sell it to you and store it in the warehouse. Carriers do not carry goods to producing buildings.

Important: Do not empty the slot in the warehouse by pressing the right mouse button, the goods will disappear completely!


Rustic church / Church
Churches bring faith to your village! The (rustic) church can be expanded later, please note this when placing your church and buildings around it. If the paths are too long, place several churches so that the need for faith can be refill quickly enough. Main buildings and all “extensions” create space for more villagers in the church. The rustic church consists of stone and thatched roof while you can later choose between 3 styles (blue, red, stone).

[Church, Style: Stone]
The monastery needs an abbey, a dormitory and if you want and have unlocked herb garden and apiary, before it actually makes no sense to assign a villager to the monastery. For herbs and honey (luxury goods) to be produced, you must assign an unemployed male villager to the monastery via “Concede a villager to the monastery”. As soon as enough is produced there by the “Brothers” you can start selling at the markets (Luxurious stall). Also the monastery can be extended at will.

[Monastery with 2 apiary and herb garden]
Lord manor
The lord manor house has only one purpose at the moment: Each treasury expands your “cash” so that you can store more gold. You can assign soldiers to the mansion, but this is not mandatory.

If you have unlocked and built the bailiff’s office for the manor, you can select a bailiff there. Each bailiff has an benefit. The selected bailiff can not currently be replaced or removed.

Learning speed increased by 10%.
Luck is influenced 10% less
The training speed of the soldiers increases by 10%.
Market revenues increased by 10%

[small mansion]
Wooden keep
Currently (March 2019) you can assign soldiers (maximum 10) in the keep and send them out if an envoy asks you for help. However, this is not absolutely necessary, because there will be no attacks from outside, so the keep will only provide two benefits, that you will get splendor for the area “Kingdom” and thus missions will be unlocked, where you can get free territories, 1000 gold and wine.

For the soldier missions you receive from the envoy, you will need 1-5 soldiers to send.

[Wooden Keep]


You will receive a quest at the beginning where you have to make the first trade, just follow the instructions. Later you can unlock 2 more trade routes. The trader come by once a week and sell and buy at your warehouses. So it’s not enough to stop selling or buying in the “trading” section, but also to free up space for the trader in the corresponding warehouses. The value you can set behind the arrows (in trade goods) means the NUMBER of the goods (example: berries, purchase up to 50 = you buy up to 50 berries from the trader). You can’t influence the prices, because they are determined by the trade routes (you can see them under neighbouring cities at trade).

To be able to complete the tasks with x berries/fish etc., the goods must be available in a warehouse so that you can click on the green check mark (top left task field).

You can click on the trader who come by. This allows you to see which goods he wants to buy or sell and in what quantity.

Splendor & unlocking of buildings
There are three areas where you can unlock something: Labor, Kingdom & Clergy. You will need a certain number of villagers with a certain status, a certain splendor and influence points in each area. Influence can be gained by completing the tasks/quests that sometimes appear (e.g. 30 berries for the clergy etc. pp). You’ll get splendor when you build certain buildings, but you’ll see how much splendor you get when you build each part.

Splendor labor:
Splendor 2 / 10 serfs: fisher’s hut, lord manor, hedge
Splendor 20 / 20 Commoners: Lord manor: stone set, treasury, bailiff’s office
Splendor 50 / 10 Citizen: Lord manor: tax office

These buildings bring you splendor: lord manor, market decorations.

Splendor Kingdom:
Splendor 0 / 10 serfs: wooden keep, wooden wall, big stone wall
Splendor 15 / 20 Commoners: hunter’s hut
Splendor 40 / 10 Citizens: weaponsmith

These buildings bring you splendor: Wooden keep.

Splendor clergy:
Splendor 5 / 10 Serfs: Church: Additional Parts
Splendor 20 / 20 Commoners: Small stone wall, church
Splendor 50 / 10 citizens: monastery, monastery: herb garden, apairy, copy room

These buildings bring you splendor: rustic church, church, monastery.

Useful Tips & Knowledge

Tip: What can I do if my residents suddenly eat my hair off my head?
The first thing you should do: Speed down or even take a break. Then you have to find out why. It would also be helpful if you wanted to keep the game running and stop immigration.

Knowledge: Stop immigration
Village information window (top left). Here you can also see when the next 2 villagers will come to you. The higher the global happiness, the sooner newcomers will come.

Knowledge: View resource panel
To the right of global happiness you can view the list and your current amount of each material.

Knowledge: Workplace list
Overview of all buildings that offer a workplace, in addition a worker can be assign here directly and by clicking the crosshairs after the building name you jump directly to the respective building.

Tip: Hide territory borders
At the bottom left in the menu bar above the map symbol. Interesting for screenshots. Screenshot mode (without menu bars) > Ctrl + U

Knowledge: Occupying buildings with workers sensibly/efficiently
Often one has the problem in the later process that the house of the villager and the job lie very far apart. Therefore it makes sense to occupy buildings with villagers who live nearby. Here the developers have thought about it too. If you still have vacancies in a building, you will find a tickable box with 3 points behind “Assign available villagers”. There you will see villagers from the surrounding area, which you can then assign.

Tip: If a job assignment is made quickly enough after the arrival of the new villager and the “Allow expansion of house density” function is activated, the new villager will settle near the workspace.

If you choose a villager who already has a job, remember that you will have to refill the empty post. To do this, simply use the workplace list.

Tip: Find healthy savegame again
By this I mean a savegame, where your villagers still have enough food and no unfortunate villagers leave you. In addition there was the tip from the community (luetten30): Name your savegame with every round number of your villagers.

Example: Villagers Number 150 > Savegame: Riverbed_150

Tip: Switch to another window in the game
For me personally, the windows key works to call another program while Foundation continues to run. For some players this doesn’t seem to work. Use the ALT + TAB key combination to change the window. Only works if another window is already open.

If you want to play the game in window mode (currently not supported by the game), you can enter “-window” in the steam properties of Foundation.

Building strategies

Here I would like to show you some building strategies for production chains, which have proven themselves with me and/or other players.

Making breads | Strategy 1
Here are needed:
4 wheat farms | 12 farmers
6 windmills | 12 millers
6 bakeries | 12 bakers
1 warehouse | for breads only
1 well each with 3 bakeries

The millers get their own wheat from the farms, so you only need the warehouse for the breads. First build up the wheat farms close to each other, then the mills and at the mills directly the bakeries. It takes a while until the production is profitable, so be patient and don’t panic. You can build this structure again and again, depending on how many villagers and market stalls you have.

Tip: Build the production as soon as it is unlocked. Once you’ve made your first breads, don’t release them for sale at the market stalls. Wait until the warehouse is full. So you have a good buffer for the first sale.

Interesting to know: 1 miller gets 1 crate of wheat (4) and grinds it in the mill to flour (4). Then the miller goes to the end of the day to refill his needs. That means 2 millers per mill make 8 sacks of flour.

[Picture and strategy from BaumeisterMoritz]
I have tried this strategy myself and see, it works very well! With 166 villagers I already have 1000 breads of bread. This is how my structure looks like. I have built two warehouses.

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Written by Pea Kina

3 thoughts on “Foundation Beginners Guide: Tips and Tricks”

  1. When assigning soldiers to fight, the Probability of Success is “Impossible” and the soldiers die. They are fully trained. I am not sure if they have swords, although i have them in inventory. How can I arm them and what to do to give them a fighting chance?


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